How a 3PL Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

We have frequently discussed the advantages of using a third-party logistics provider (3PL) here on the blog.

To recap, a 3PL is a service that allows businesses to outsource some or all of supply chain and logistics operations. Among the most common 3PL services are warehousing, picking and packing, and order fulfilment—all of which are offered by the enthusiastic and hard-working team at Borderline Systems! 

There are many reasons to consider using a 3PL. It drives cost savings by eliminating or significantly lowering investment in infrastructure, improves operating efficiency, enables growth and expansion into new markets, and improves customer satisfaction. In short, a 3PL allows businesses to focus on their core competencies by subcontracting their supply chain management and logistics operations to professionals who do this kind of thing for a living.

But did you know that a 3PL can also contribute to making your business more sustainable?

Why Sustainability Matters

Today, business strategy is influenced by an array of non-financial social and cultural factors. In response, a growing number of organizations have become more attuned to the values of their customers, integrating these concerns in the process of identifying hazards and growth opportunities.

By choosing to minimize the negative impact of their practices, whether on the environment, their communities, or society as a whole, these companies are making a vital contribution to solving the challenges we collectively face while simultaneously driving business success. To learn more about designing a more sustainable business model, we recommend checking out this excellent resource from Harvard Business School.

We’ve stated that recruiting a 3PL is one of the most efficient ways to build a sustainable supply chain. But how is it so? Here are a few of the ways that 3PLs contribute to sustainability:


Transportation accounts for the most significant portion of rising greenhouse gas emissions polluting the atmosphere.

By increasing the fill rate per transport unit per tank of fuel, utilizing larger capacity vehicles, and carrying out regular maintenance on transport vehicles, 3PLs like Borderline are contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions during the transportation stage of distribution.

Additionally, 3PLs can optimize transport by designing more efficient routes, opting for green forms of transportation, and occupying strategic locations.

Green Packaging

While cost efficiency and secure transportation have historically taken priority over sustainability in the engineering of packing technology, many 3PLs are increasingly turning to eco-friendly packaging to minimize their environmental impact. Since eco-friendly packaging uses recycled waste material, it requires the use of less damaging resources during its production, thus reducing overall carbon emissions.

There are also economic and social benefits to integrating eco-friendly packaging: it can reduce shipping and overhead costs and allow for the optimization of space, as well as improve your brand image as consumers increasingly choose to do business with companies whose values align with their own.

Reverse Logistics

3PLs can also contribute to sustainability efforts by establishing efficient reverse logistics operations. When we talk about reverse logistics, we are describing the backwards movement of goods, whether for refurbishing, remanufacturing, or disposal. By extending the life of a product through refurbishment or salvaging some or all of its parts through recycling, 3PLs can reduce the destructive impact of non-biodegradable materials on the environment as well as the burden upon landfills around the globe.

At Borderline, we take these issues seriously and have taken steps to mitigate our impact on the environment. For more information about our sustainability efforts, or to learn more about our warehousing, packaging and fulfillment systems, reach us by phone at 905-687-4014, or send us a message through our contact page, HERE.

We’re Shepco Warehouse Services, a division of Borderline Systems Niagara Inc. … where our family of team members has been keeping your family of team members happy, since 1956.